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The Asian market not only varies in race, but also in languages; specifically, the markets that deal in 2-byte systems, such as Korea, Japan, and China. Where this is not the case, a prerequisite exists for software companies to have sufficient amount of time for investment and technology. The Korean software industry is your answer to the right solution partner with a 2-byte language know-how.
The reason why Korean companies are going abroad to try to work together with the US software industry is this: "We have the answers." Along with native Korean Hangul, Korea uses Chinese, which is China and Japan's writing system. This is why Korea possesses unique technology in dealing with these languages. Hangul and Computer, Korea's leading software company, is a leader in the Korean word processor market and has accumulated technology in Hangul processing. On these grounds, Hangul and Computer is exporting software to Japan, as well as enlarging the markets in all parts of Asia.
Behind the success of HandySoft with groupware products, An Cheol Soo Virus Institute with computer virus vaccine programs and several others, lies the element of strength in knowing the Asian market well and the power to deal with unique language systems. The secret of the amazing success of Korean software companies in the Chinese and Japanese market is simple: its unique technology.
To Abroad, To Abroad!! - Overseas 'Rush' of Korean Software Companies
Korea is a mammoth in IT industry. It has monopolized the world memory chip market and is a leader in cellular technology. But most of all, it's the place with the greatest growth and potential in the software market. In the past few years, growth rates have soared over 20%, and future potential is limitless.
According to data from the Korea Information and Communications Policy Institution, the size of the Korean software market is expected to be 4.1 billion US$ in 1998, and will be 3.5 times as large in 2002 (Table 1). Also in a recent report from Price Water House, a multinational consulting group, it was forecasted that the Korean software industry will record a 23.8% growth in the next 5 consecutive years. This will make the ratio of the software industry to the general IT industry jump from 8.2% in 1997 to 23.3% in 2002.
Fast-growing Korean software companies want to go abroad (Table 2). They want to be recognized in the worldwide IT community. The Korean software industry is challenging and progressive. They want to be the kingpins of the new millennium. They want partners to leap into the world market together.
Gateway to Asia -- It's Korea!
World-renowned IT companies are turning their heads toward Asia.
It's quite natural, since the Asian market is showing the highest yearly growth rate. The size of the world IT market was estimated at 1,800 billion Korean Won last year in IDC research. This accounts for 6% of the world's GDP, and is around 40% larger compared to year 1992. Region-wide, Asia showed the highest yearly growth at 14.5%. Japan and China, especially, have emerged as the Big 10 in the worldwide IT industry.
There's Korea - the gateway to the Asian market, full of potential. Korea is indeed a forefront in the IT industry, in the middle of an already-saturated Japanese market, and a dangerous 96%-illegal-software Chinese market. Korea is your only suitable partner with both technology and market potential. World-famous software companies; such as MicroSoft, IBM and Oracle, have successfully landed and stabilized in Korea.
<Success Story - Case I>
IBM establishes the 'Tivolli' System Asia-Pacific Region Test Center in Korea
Do you know why the world's biggest computer company, IBM, has decided to establish the ‘Tivolli’ System Asia-Pacific Region Test Center in Korea? Early this year, IBM decided to set up a test center in the Asia-Pacific region for ‘Tivolli’, which is a network system managing software, to enhance customer support, and has started selecting its establishment site. For this purpose, IBM has been going around Asia to meticulously screen each nation's technology level and appropriateness for their purpose.
Technology is essential in managing the 'Tivolli' System Test Center. Understanding the needed technology in developing processes of more than 200 'Tivolli' product groups and ability to prosecute performance tests was basic. Especially in the reality of software systems, where many different hardware systems are mixed together to produce many unexpected variables and problems. IBM wanted a partner who could provide high-level customer satisfaction under any circumstance. And, especially in a region of the 2-byte language system, IBM needed a partner with the necessary technology.
After long consideration, IBM chose Korea to establish its 'Tivolli' System Asia-Pacific Region Test Center. Korea was chosen because IBM recognized the technical know-how of IBM Korea’s Software Institute and Hyundai Information Technology.
<Success Story - Case II>
The 10 year anniversary of MicroSoft Korea
It's been ten years since MicroSoft has set foot in Korea. Since 1988, MicroSoft has been growing amazingly fast and enlarging its market share in Korea. The number of staff has jumped from 10 to 196 in the last 10 years, and MicroSoft has placed first in the office application software market. In 1990, they released Hangul-Windows 3.0, followed by Hangul-Windows 95 and Office 95 in 1995. And in 1996, MicroSoft released Hangul Internet Explorer 3.0.
Recently, cooperating with Samsung SDS, LG-EDS and 600-plus other Korean medium-to-small-sized IT companies, MicroSoft is eager for solution development. Office 97 for Medium-sized Companies, template applications and Computer-Based Training Programs are all results of technical cooperation with Korean companies. President Jae-Min Kim of MicroSoft Korea says, "Through technical cooperation with Korean companies, we have enlarged the market and upgraded customer satisfaction up one notch."
Economic Crisis Provides Opportunities
Asia, as a whole, is experiencing economic turbulence. Korea is no exception. The economic crisis that dates back to the winter of 1997 gave Korea problems of widespread unemployment and a shrinking economy. But this very crisis is providing a whole different world of opportunities. Companies are determined to restructure and renovate management to become competitive once again. The clarity in managing a company is also one of the main goals of many Korean companies.
To surmount this economic crisis, utilizing IT technology is fundamental. Through utilization of IT technology, the competitiveness of Korean companies can be restored. The Korean government also knows this well, and is trying to support the IT industry. To help companies with new technology, government-level support plans are being drawn out. Also, many foreign companies are advancing to Korea. Many changes are under formation on the policy-making level.
After the economic shock, the Korean Won's weakness in the world money market provides a wide range of opportunities to companies who are seeking to invest in Korea. 'Price-rationality' is added to technological competence and an aggressive spirit. Korea is the most attractive, as well as the most efficient partner in Asia.
Korea Exerts for Intellectual Property Rights
The Asian region, in general, is notorious for its illegal software. According to BSA, the illegal software rate of the Asian-Pacific region was 52% in 1997. There are even nations with an illegal software rate of over 90%: Vietnam (98%), China (96%), and Indonesia (93%).
The Korean government is trying hard to protect intellectual property rights. In 1993, Korea established the Software Propertyright Committee under the Korean Software Industry Association. The SPC is involved in many activities including running campaigns to prevent illegal reproduction of software and promoting software property rights. As of 1997, 721 software companies are members of the SPC.
Through regulations and education on the government level, Korea is exerting its utmost capabilities to lower illegal reproduction of software. As a result, Korea's rate of illegal software has continuously dropped from 76% in 1995, 70% in 1996, and lower still to 67% in 1997.
Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, Sybase, Informix, Mentor Graphics, Autodesk, Cadence, Visio, Security Dynamics, IBM, Lotus, Bayan, Yahoo, Computer Associate, 3 Com, Symantec etc.
AbriSoft, AccuSoft, Artisoft, Inc., Asante, Autodesk, Banyan Sys., Broderbund, CA, Corel, Crescent, Dart Communications, Dk Multimedia, ELF Software, Fargo Elec. Ftp Software, Hitachi, HyperSoft Inc., IBM, Intel Software, Jasc, Lotus Dev. Macromedia, McGraw-Hill, Microsoft, Netscape, Novell, Osicom Technology, Pantone, Photodisc, Qualcomm, Quark, Quarterdeck, Radius, Santa Cruz Operation, SAS Institute, SPSS, Sunsoft, Sybase, Symantec, Tektronix, Visio Zebra Tech.